Stay & Play Differently at Victoria Palms RV Resort in Donna, TX

When the northern winds are hurling snowdrifts across the roads, it’s nice to be soaking in an outdoor spa at one of the south’s most luxurious RV resorts, Victoria Palms.

The Rio Grande Valley in South Texas has long been known for its moderate winter temperatures, abundant palms, and warm gulf breezes. The developers of the Victoria Palms RV Resort took advantage of these natural advantages and built one of South Texas’ premier RV resorts in Donna, TX.

Not only does it have ideal facilities for a long winter’s stay, but it is close to a large number of amenities such as shopping, medical facilities and it’s within a hour’s drive to the ocean beaches. You can buy your fresh produce such as onions, lettuce, melons of many types, and strawberries on one of your drives into the country, where the mild climate permits several crops per year. There is also a weekly farmers market inside the resort offering all of the fresh produce you can eat.

vp_streetviewFirst appearances are usually lasting ones, and nowhere is this more true than when you, for the first time, drive into the resort. The entrance is separated into two roads with twin rows of tall, graceful palm trees, lining each one. Between these is a grassy lawn with a winding walkway. Neatly manicured RV sites line the road on one side, and wide lanes take you to your site with ease. Citrus trees grow throughout the park, providing exquisite aromas when in flower, and excellent fruit when ripe. It’s really nice to go over to a tree and come back with your hands full of grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines or even bananas. This resort definitely exudes the feeling of comfort and relaxation.

This is a gated community for the ages 55 and up and provides a wide variety of accommodations. They have over 1200 concrete pull-through, and back-in RV sites with full hook-ups and WiFi. Some visitors will opt for one of the 100 suites with kitchen and separate bedrooms, or perhaps one of the 20 hotel rooms. They can even book into one of the 14 cottages.

vp_poolOnce you are established in your winter home site, it’s time to amble over to the huge heated pool or sit back and relax in one of the three outdoor spas. If you are too relaxed maybe it’s time to move onto one of the tennis or pickleball courts, lighted for your pleasure if you would rather play at night. You might be also wish to visit the shuffleboard courts. Over at the billiard hall someone is likely waiting for a challenger.

Several winter visitors wish to continue with a hobby or sport they left back in the cold and chances are they can do so here. The wood shop is always popular, as is the wood carving area. The craft centre offers such diverse activities as painting, ceramics, stained glass making, and quilting. Imagine taking home a beautiful old fashioned multi-patterned quilt for your bed, or for a gift to one of your children. There are also organized bike rides on the trails. Bikes are loaded on a trailer and everyone heads for a trailhead where they can join bike trail networks.

jpage-encorerv-rgv-victoriapalmsinterior-61-1Musical entertainment is presented by a variety of bands and there is a large grand piano lounge and an oversized dance room. Square, round, and ballroom dances are offered. To top it all off, there will be dinner theatre, potlucks for those who love to sample a variety of great dishes, and everyone seems ready for the ice cream socials. Looking for a more formal setting? The on site restaurant is sure to please even the most concerning palate.

The Rio Grande Valley abounds in opportunities to explore. South of the resort is the meandering Rio Grande which over the years has left behind many oxbow lakes (locally called Resacas) and marshes. The oxbow lakes form when a loop of the river is cut off and left behind. These quiet areas attract countless species of birds especially during fall and spring migrations. The Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is positioned along two such routes. There are 12 miles of walking trails, a canopy walk on a rope bridge, and a tower climb which provides excellent views of the surrounding area. This is a great place to photograph amazingly beautiful coloured birds, and butterflies are a hit with many visitors.

The visitor may opt for a longer drive east to South Padre Island. As you pass through vp_shufflePort Isabel you may want to take advantage of the restaurants offering fresh seafood. Fishermen can use the long fishing pier at Port Isabel where they can even rent some fishing gear locally.

It’s the dunes and beaches that attract tourists to the island. The pristine white sand beaches are great for enjoying a day at the sea coast. It is the sand blowing inland that creates the huge dunes that help protect the mainland from storms. When plants grow in this sand it stabilizes the dune, but careless climbing up the dunes can destroy the protective plants, and damage the dune.

Long time snowbird resident Janet Bussier says it’s a terrific park.

“There are so many activities that there is no reason for anyone being bored,” says Janet.
She loves the beauty of the park’s entrance, and the fabulous flowers and palm trees in the park. Janet credits the beauty of the park, its cleanliness, and it’s friendly feeling to the manager, Terry Goss, who listens to your problems and takes action on remediating them.

Victoria Palms RV Resort is a perfect snowbird resort. The destination provides rest, entertainment, and abundant areas for you to discover at your own speed.

Canada 150: See How We Celebrated!

2017 marked the 150th anniversary of Canada! Encore RV Resorts celebrated Canada 150 by throwing several appreciation days across the Sunbelt to celebrate this major milestone!

All of our Canadian guests and US friends were invited to join us for a fun-filled day of activities, including bocce ball, petanque, shuffleboard tournaments, dancing, jam sessions and so much more.

Check out the recap video and let us know what you think!

Top 16 Achievements in 2016 – Texas RV Resorts

In order to ensure an amazing customer experience for the region’s Winter Texans, Team Texas worked diligently to improve all aspects of its RV resorts in 2016.

To express our appreciation of such hard work, we’ve compiled a list of the top 16 Texas achievements that made us proud. These successes ranged from property upgrades to the annual Encore Inter Resort Games, while even witnessing the rise in popularity of RC cars! 

1/ Victoria Palms RV Resort (City: Donna, TX). Received the prestigious “Official Best of Texas” award as the Best Age-Qualified RV Resort in the state. The RV property recently replaced its 11,000 sq. ft. ballroom floor with new maple wood flooring, and will be ready to host activities and concerts throughout the winter season.

VicPalms

2/ Sunshine RV Resort (City: Harlingen, TX). Added three new indoor pickleball courts to its portfolio of amenities, as well as a two petanque courts.

Sunshine Pickleball

3/ Lake Conroe RV & Camping Resort (City: Willis, TX).  Added 33 new homes – a mix of 2-3 bedrooms. Also, this beautiful property underwent several property improvements, including upgrading its swimming pool.

Lake COnroe 2

4/ Encore Inter Resort Games. All ten Encore RV resorts in South Texas created and participated in an Olympic style competition amongst one another. 500+ residents competed in 15 games including pickleball, shuffleboard, darts, swimming, billiards, bridge, and bocce ball just to name a few. This annual competition has been going on for about eight years, with Fun-N-Sun RV Resort taking home the trophy last season.

20170301_170121

5/ RC Cars are Getting Very Popular. Added four more remote controlled car tracks in the region, growing from one track to five now. Tropic Winds, Fun-N-Sun, Victoria Palms, Country Sunshine, and Alamo Palms all have tracks for RC car enthusiasts to enjoy and compete.

rc2

6/ Rallies, Festival and Trade Shows in the US & Canada. During 2016, our team attended over 50 events all over Canada and the US in order to promote South Texas and other Sunbelt destinations. If you attended a major RV show, you might have met our very friendly and resourceful colleagues.

Shows

7/ More Canadian guests flocked to South Texas. Throughout 2016, we are extremely pleased to notice a growing number of Canadians who choose to spend their vacation in South Texas. 21% more Canadians stayed with us than the prior year, and we love it!

Canadians More flocking

8/ Medina Lake RV Campground (City: Lakehills, TX). Built 2 boat docks for guests to enjoy a variety of water activities such as fishing, boating and kayaking.

9/ Conferences & Seminars in Canada. During 2016, our very own Team Canada promoted our South Texas properties at 22 conferences and seminars across Canada such as Montreal, Quebec City, Hamilton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

Seminars

10/ Fun-N-Sun RV Resort (City: San Benito, TX). Added two great amenities, including four indoor pickleball courts and by popular demand, an RC track and RC airplane field.

Fun N Sun Rc Plane

11/ Tropic Winds & Fun-N-Sun RV Resorts (Cities: Harlingen & San Benito, TX). Very proud to share that the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence has been Awarded for 2016 to these two amazing South Texas RV resorts.

12/ Lakewood RV Resort (City: Harlingen, TX). Replaced its 8,000 sq. ft. ballroom floor with new maple wood flooring, perfect for our square dancing and line dancing enthusiasts. The new ballroom floor also hosts two indoor pickleball courts.

Lakewood Floor2

13/ Paradise Park & Tropic Winds RV Resorts (City: Harlingen, TX). Paradise Park added a new 800 sq. ft. craft shop as well as two bocce ball courts for all to enjoy. Tropic Winds also resurfaced its interior roadways so that guests are greeted by smooth streets when they pull in.

Paradise Park Bocce

14/ Southern Comfort RV Resort (City: Weslaco, TX). Re-plastered its pool, giving it a new, vibrant look.

15/ Paradise South RV Resort (City: Mercedes, TX). Replaced the popular bingo system at the resort with a new system, ensuring games for the whole season.

16/ Winter Concert Series (Rio Grande Valley, TX).  Guests were able to enjoy a concert series at five South Texas RV Resorts, including Victoria Palms, Fun-N-Sun, Sunshine RV, Southern Comfort, and Country Sunshine. Performers included Dec 63, Jersey Boys, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Rhinestone Country, The Three International Tenors, Motown Magic, and The Orbison Years.

Meet Terry from Victoria Palms RV Resort in Donna, TX

portrait_terryGoss

Profile:
Name: Terry Goss
In position since: December 2014
Title: Resort Manager
Work Location: Victoria Palms RV Resort
Favorite Activities: Sitting around a campfire (yes it’s true)


1. How does a typical day at Victoria Palms look like?  What is your favorite moment of the day?

Believe it or not, we start the day by baking cookies. We have become known for having warm, fresh baked cookies waiting for our guests as they arrive. It’s a small token of our appreciation for our customers when they arrive, often after a long time behind the wheel. From there it’s off to tour the property to make sure everything is ship shape and everyone is ready for the day. That’s the fun part. After that I move into running the daily reports, reading and responding to emails, and digesting our online presence and reviews. All that being said, my favorite time of the day is when I get to socialize with guests, old and new, and hear about their travels, their family and what their “other” home is like. It’s really a pretty good gig.

2. You are working, while people at the resort are enjoying their vacation. How do you handle that?

Here at Victoria Palms I am both a manager and a cheer leader. Of course I can’t be everywhere, all the time, but I try my best to be a vibrant part of the community. Even when I can’t stay for an entire event, I am very likely to stop by and cheer on the contestants. I love being around fun loving, happy people, and this position gives me lots of opportunity. I am the first one on the dance floor, love anything where there is food, and was the runner up in last year’s belly flop contest. You just can’t be at a place like Victoria Palms and not have fun.


3. When people ask you what the best experiences are in the surrounding areas, what would you recommend?

The area around Victoria Palms has something for everyone. We are less than an hour away from the best beach in Texas with lots of entertainment and great eats. We are on the migratory path for both birds and butterflies and are one of the premier places to see them in the entire United States. We have some truly incredible shopping with an international flair. For even more fun, we can cross into Mexico for great shopping, food, drinks and services. Of course we have a zoo, museums, theaters, and every restaurant chain known to man. But my absolute favorite thing here in the valley, as we call it, are the little mom and pop restaurants. Not only is the food incredible (and very reasonably priced), but when was the last time the owner came to sit with you on your second visit, and actually remembered your name and what you like to eat. Just incredible!


4. What’s your favorite story to tell about your time at Victoria Palms?

I believe that all of the employees at Victoria Palm are a team and each has a significant role in delivering guest satisfaction. I expect that everyone will pick up whatever task is required, even if it is not considered in their job description. That goes for me as well. Last year we were getting ready to do some street repairs. We were using fresh, hot asphalt which has a very limited time on a truck before it cools off and is no longer usable. The day our asphalt arrived we had one of our maintenance team get hurt and another go home sick. So I jumped into some old jeans, slipped on a pair of work boots and some gloves, and jumped in the truck to help pick up the slack. What makes this special is not what I did, rather it was the looks I received from residents and guests as they saw me working in that truck. I have to say I had more pictures taken that day than any time in my life. It was almost like being a rock star followed by paparazzi. It was hard work but we got the job done and I gained a story to recount.


5. What’s your best accomplishment so far at the resort?

I would like to believe that I have had an impact at Victoria Palms in a lot of areas, but I think the most significant is in communications. Not everyone is comfortable being in front of people or starting conversations with strangers. That can leave some people feeling like they aren’t appreciated or respected. I have always made it a point to make the operation of the resort an open book. I don’t dodge questions and do my best to always provide an honest answer. Sometimes that answer is “no”, but when that’s the truth, anything less is misleading. As well I have expanded the modes of communication here at Victoria Palms. We had a great newsletter here when I arrived, but I thought we could do more. We now have a new website dedicated to events and activities (www.vpractivities.com), I do monthly “Town Hall” meetings which I record and post to YouTube. This enables our residents who are not here at the time of a meeting to still get all the information and not miss anything. I believe strongly in open and honest communications and think our residents and guests really appreciate that.


6. If had to describe your RV park to someone who thinks about coming to Victoria Palms, what would you say?

Picture a fine resort with every conceivable amenity, or a cruise ship where the activities seem to never stop. If you are an RV’er, picture wide, paved and lighted streets where maneuvering your rig is easy and the sites are all concrete with full hook-ups. If you are looking for a permanent winter or year around home picture well manicured yards, lush plantings, beautiful flowers and grass. Envision neat homes (each unique) which exude a feeling of community and safety. If you like to dance, dream about multiple live bands every week, where you can dance the night away on one of the largest and most beautiful dance floors in the valley. Or join in some of our dance lessons; line, ballroom, country, round. If you are a crafter then this must be paradise. Woodworking in our supersized woodshop, firing your pottery in one of our 5 kilns, stained glass, painting, sewing and quilting, wood carving, and the list goes on and on. If you are of the sports type we can keep you pretty busy there too. From racing remote control trucks to bocce ball, petanque, horseshoes, shuffleboard, pickle ball, tennis, cycling, swimming, water volleyball, etc. Are you starting to get the picture? Victoria Palms is incredible and you can do as much or as little as you desire.

7. What brought you to Victoria Palms?

Truthfully I came to Victoria Palms quite by accident. I had previously managed large resorts and honestly was looking for something with a little slower pace. I actually applied for a position at a smaller Thousand Trails park that was somewhat off the beaten path and very rustic. Remember one of my favorite pastimes is sitting by a campfire. As I was being interviewed the question I kept being asked was why I wanted that position, and was I really sure I could be happy there. In the end the interviewer convinced me to come see Victoria Palms. When I visited it completely knocked my socks off. I was instantly in love. As a resort manager I get to live in the resort, and I knew this was a place I could really feel at home. I was hired to manage it and have never looked back. It has been a complete labor of love.


8. Any last words for your current and future guests?

If this hasn’t given you a vision of what life is like at Victoria Palms, then you simply need to come see it for yourself. Come spend a week with us and I will personally make sure you see it all. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Come join me in paradise under the palms.

Stay & Play Differently at Victoria Palms RV Resort in Donna, TX

vp_aerial-1

When the northern winds are hurling snowdrifts across the roads, it’s nice to be soaking in an outdoor spa at one of the south’s most luxurious RV resorts, Victoria Palms.

The Rio Grande Valley in South Texas has long been known for its moderate winter temperatures, abundant palms, and warm gulf breezes. The developers of the Victoria Palms RV Resort took advantage of these natural advantages and built one of South Texas’ premier RV resorts in Donna, TX.

Not only does it have ideal facilities for a long winter’s stay, but it is close to a large number  of amenities such as shopping, medical facilities and it’s within a hour’s drive to the ocean beaches. You can buy your fresh produce such as onions, lettuce, melons of many types, and strawberries on one of your drives into the country, where the mild climate permits several crops per year. There is also a weekly farmers market inside the resort offering all of the fresh produce you can eat.

vp_streetviewFirst appearances are usually lasting ones, and nowhere is this more true than when you, for the first time, drive into the resort. The entrance is separated into two roads with twin rows of tall, graceful palm trees, lining each one. Between these is a grassy lawn with a winding walkway. Neatly manicured RV sites line the road on one side, and wide lanes take you to your site with ease. Citrus trees grow throughout the park, providing exquisite aromas when in flower, and excellent fruit when ripe. It’s really nice to go over to a tree and come back with your hands full of grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines or even bananas. This resort definitely exudes the feeling of comfort and relaxation.

This is a gated community for the ages 55 and up and provides a wide variety of accommodations. They have over 1200 concrete pull-through, and back-in RV sites with full hook-ups and WiFi. Some visitors will opt for one of the 100 suites with kitchen and separate bedrooms, or perhaps one of the 20 hotel rooms. They can even book into one of the 14 cottages.

vp_poolOnce you are established in your winter home site, it’s time to amble over to the huge heated pool or sit back and relax in one of the three outdoor spas. If you are too relaxed maybe it’s time to move onto one of the tennis or pickleball courts, lighted for your pleasure if you would rather play at night. You might be also wish to visit the shuffleboard courts. Over at the billiard hall someone is likely waiting for a challenger.

Several winter visitors wish to continue with a hobby or sport they left back in the cold and chances are they can do so here. The wood shop is always popular, as is the wood carving area. The craft centre offers such diverse activities as painting, ceramics, stained glass making, and quilting. Imagine taking home a beautiful old fashioned multi-patterned quilt for your bed, or for a gift to one of your children. There are also organized bike rides on the trails. Bikes are loaded on a trailer and everyone heads for a trailhead where they can join bike trail networks.

jpage-encorerv-rgv-victoriapalmsinterior-61-1Musical entertainment is presented by a variety of bands and there is a large grand piano lounge and an oversized dance room.  Square, round, and ballroom dances are offered. To top it all off, there will be dinner theatre, potlucks for those who love to sample a variety of great dishes, and everyone seems ready for the ice cream socials. Looking for a more formal setting? The on site restaurant is sure to please even the most concerning palate.

The Rio Grande Valley abounds in opportunities to explore. South of the resort is the meandering Rio Grande which over the years has left behind many oxbow lakes (locally called Resacas) and marshes. The oxbow lakes form when a loop of the river is cut off and left behind. These quiet areas attract countless species of birds especially during fall and spring migrations. The Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is positioned along two such routes. There are 12 miles of walking trails, a canopy walk on a rope bridge, and a tower climb which provides excellent views of the surrounding area. This is a great place to photograph amazingly beautiful coloured birds, and butterflies are a hit with many visitors.

The visitor may opt for a longer drive east to South Padre Island. As you vp_shufflepass through Port Isabel you may want to take advantage of the restaurants offering fresh seafood. Fishermen can use the long fishing pier at Port Isabel where they can even rent some fishing gear locally.

It’s the dunes and beaches that attract tourists to the island. The pristine white sand beaches are great for enjoying a day at the sea coast. It is the sand blowing inland that creates the huge dunes that help protect the mainland from storms. When plants grow in this sand it stabilizes the dune, but careless climbing up the dunes can destroy the protective plants, and damage the dune.

Long time snowbird resident Janet Bussier says it’s a terrific park.

“There are so many activities that there is no reason for anyone being bored,” Janet told me.

She loves the beauty of the park’s entrance, and the fabulous flowers and palm trees in the park. Janet credits the beauty of the park, its cleanliness, and it’s friendly feeling to the manager, Terry Goss, who listens to your problems and takes action on remediating them.

Victoria Palms RV Resort is a perfect snowbird resort. The destination provides rest, entertainment, and abundant areas for you to discover at your own speed.

 

Here’s Why Everyone in Winnipeg is Flocking to South Texas to “Winter Differently” This Year!

vicpalms-rv-sunset-72

Waking up slow to the rising sun. Drinking a cup of coffee on your porch or in the recreation hall with friends. Swimming in the resort pool or a morning of fishing. An afternoon of bike riding or trail hiking to spot rare bird species. Playing a game of bocce ball or pickleball. Enjoying a show or dancing the night away with your friends. This isn’t just vacation. This is a lifestyle for many “Winter Texans” who head to South Texas from all over Canada and the U.S. to spend the winter months. South Texas is also known as the “Rio Grande Valley”. South Texas is an increasingly popular destination and is known for its weather, food & culture, citrus orchards, world class birding, top notch hospitals, and friendly people. South Texas is not only beautiful but it is a lively and affordable place to spend one’s golden years. South Texas has been consistently rated as one of the least expensive places to live in the U.S.

Down here, the folks that come to live in South Texas are called, Winter Texans, which is not to be confused with the Snowbirds of Florida, Arizona, and Southern California. Many of them come down for the warm climate because the warmth eases joint pain, there’s no snow to shovel, and the outdoor activities are abound.  There are many things to do and reasons to stay in SouparadiseParkth Texas to escape the cold.  Many Winter Texans, approx 10,000, choose to stay at a Encore Resort.  There are ten age-qualified Encore RV Resorts to choose from in South Texas.  All are gated communities and most offer amenities and activities like pools & spas, fitness centers, shuffleboard, pickle ball courts, woodworking clubs, and much more.

Winter Texans are also trailblazers who love living their life on the road with the freedom to go anywhere and see anything whenever they want behind the wheels of their RVs!  After retiring early, Kathy and her husband, who have been coming to an Encore Resort in South Texas since 2003, bought a new rig and headed out to see the country.  Kathy and her husband found that having the freedom to go wherever you wanted was the best way to spend their winters.  “The lifestyle of an RVer, you just cannot imagine the freedom that you experience to see things that are out there that other people don’t see when you stay in a hotel,” she says.

South Texas has lots of tourism to offer.  A favorite among residents and visitors is South Padre Island which has popular landmarks and destinations like the Port Isabel lighthouse and the Sea Turtle Rescue center.  The Sea Turtle Rescue is a non profit organization whose mission is to “rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured sea sunshineRVturtles, educate the public, and assist with conservation efforts for all marine turtle species.”  It is a great place to bring the grandkids who will surely love the live interaction with sea turtles.  Be sure to check seaturtleinc.org for more information on hatchlings, releases, and onsite activities.  Other landmarks in South Texas include the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, and the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park.

Named one of the Top 10 sport fishing destinations in 2014 by Sport Fishing Magazine, Port Mansfield is a popular place for fishermen to visit.  Whether you head out on your own fishing boat or embark on a chartered fishing trip, fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is a treat for fishermen where there are multiple large fish species waiting to be caught!  Nearby at Port Isabel, there are hundreds of activities for visitors, but fishing is also a popular one.  Port Isabel is home to Pirate’s Landing the longest fishing pier in Texas.  Pirate’s Landing extends out into the Queen Isabella Causeway that leads to South Padre Island and fishing poles and tackle are always available to rent here.

Fun-in-Sun 1- ELS 014

South Texas is a popular and world renowned location for birders.  The region has more than 500 species of birds & butterflies and is also home to the World Birding Center, which has 9 locations in South Texas, with each location offering unique birding trails and excursions throughout the area.

It is also the site of the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival which draws world class birders for speaking engagements, field trips, and special events every year.  The 23rd Annual Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival will take place on November 2, 2016 and will feature speaking engagements by world class wildlife photographers and prominent birders, plus field trips to places like South Padre Island and the Upper Rio Grande.  Visit rgbvf.org for more information about field trips and tickets.

Winnipeggers – ready to join the ranks of the Winter Texans? Trek south to this laid back area with a low cost of living and big city amenities. Take advantage of some of our new customer specials offered by Encore.  Rates are $1,433 for a 3 month stay on a standard RV site at Sunshine RV and $1,338 for a 3 month stay on a standard RV site at Paradise Park. Valid until April 30, 2017. No RV, no problem, Park Model rentals are also available! Visit RVontheGO.com or RVSouthTexas.com to find out more information or call (877) 957-2778.